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L' Homme du Train (The Man on the Train) (2003)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 111
Fresh: 102 | Rotten: 9

A lovely, contemplative character study with two wonderful performances at its center.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 2

A lovely, contemplative character study with two wonderful performances at its center.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 4,725

My Rating

Movie Info

Two men from two different walks of life develop an unexpected friendship in French director Patrice Leconte's 2002 comedy-drama The Man on the Train. Weary from his trip and in anticipation of the heist he's about to perform, Milan (French rock star Johnny Hallyday) steps off the train after arriving in the small town where he's to meet his co-conspirators and heads straight to the town pharmacy. After accidentally buying the wrong product, Milan makes the acquaintance of retired teacher


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Claude Klotz

Nov 25, 2003


Paramount Classics - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on L' Homme du Train (The Man on the Train)

April 23, 2008:
LeConte's Man on the Train Learning to Speak English
Miramax is prepping an English remake of Patrice LeConte's Man on the Train, with Thomas Bezucha in...


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All Critics (122) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (9) | DVD (7)

Each actor comes to perfectly embody his character.

July 11, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
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Patrice Leconte's fanciful odd-couple drama oozes flavorful, provincial atmosphere.

June 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Newsday
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Under Leconte's artful direction, a believable bond develops between the men, each envious of the direction the other's life has taken.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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It is a perfected fable flashing across a screen.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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The actors couldn't be more perfect.

June 6, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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The movie has the kind of texture and depth that will make true movie-lovers sigh with the pure cinematic, human grace of it all.

June 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Laconte's direction is calculative all the way, but his telling fails to register very much.

August 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

A bizarre yet touching tale of gangster and recluse finding in each other something they lack, the film definitely warrants a look.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

You get the feeling you are watching the adaptation of a classic novel, when in fact the script is an original work of impressive poetry and unpredictable dialogue...

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

An exceptionally crafted western dream.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregon Herald

Thought-provoking, tender and funny, far better than your average 'one last score' film.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Although Leconte leads his characters to a baffling conclusion, he creates a satisfying portrayal of two old would-be cowboys heading for what could be the last roundup

April 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

It's a poetic and keenly observed story.

January 5, 2004 Full Review

Lacking the sweep of The Widow of St. Pierre and the audacity of The Girl on the Bridge, here Leconte seems to be working on a character sketch...

January 2, 2004 Full Review

Bleak, blue lighting and washed out colours emphasise the wintriness of the tale; but there isn't nearly enough dramatic conflict to sustain this to feature length.

December 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Comment (1)
Daily Mail [UK]

It's nice to see a film about the regrets of old age that doesn't resort to Grumpy Old Men-style humor or cheap action sequences.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

A collision of cultures--a movie in love with movies, literature, poetry and music, but not to the point of worship or distraction.

September 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Combine the elegiac Sam Peckinpah of The Wild Bunch and the fatalistic Jean-Pierre Melville of Le Samourai or Le Flic and the result might well be The Man on the Train, director Patrice Leconte's 20th film.

August 30, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

This is a film that delivers in layers. The top, and most easily accessed, is that of an enjoyable human drama. But peel back the second skin and you'll finds scads of unanswered questions and possibilities.

August 1, 2003

A movie that's slow, reflective, full of resignation toward death and small ironies about life.

July 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

One life to live;The tracks less traveled in 'Man on the Train'

July 13, 2003 Full Review
Pasadena Weekly

A delightfully droll personality comedy.

July 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The film, in a curious way, gives them a sort of second chance at things, and I enjoyed watching it happen.

July 5, 2003 Full Review Source:

Richly imagined and quirky.

June 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for L' Homme du Train (The Man on the Train)

A very delicate film, but it works.
October 10, 2007

Super Reviewer

Two extremely good actors producing two extremely good performances. This is a fantastic story of envy, friendship and regret. Its brilliant!
October 2, 2009

Super Reviewer

[font=Arial][color=darkred]A dark stranger gets off a train in France. He has piercing blue eyes and a weathered face with a machine-like expression. This man is Milan (Johnny Hallyday) and he?s stopping by this small French town for a new job. Oh, Milan?s business is robbing banks. In this small village he befriends a garrulous retired poetry teacher, Monsieur Manesquie (Jean Rochefort). The two men spend their time wishing they had the life of the other. Milan openly seeks a comfortable life surrounded by books. Monsieur Manesquie is a huge fan of Clint Eastwood movies and longs for some action in his life. He secretly dreams of one day robbing a bank just for the fun of it.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]So, an interesting start for a film, right? Sure. But this IS the movie. ?The Man on the Train? is a middling character experiment. The two men rub off each other, with Milan teaching a young boy the wonders of poetry, and Monsieur Manesquie learning how to properly fire a gun. The scenes are nice and both actors are splendid (especially French rocker Hallyday) but the film is one long muddled and meandering trip until our inevitable climax. The ending feels needlessly open-ended and a tad clumsy. There?s also a subplot featuring a young mistress for Monsieur Manesquie that sticks out like a sore thumb.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]?The Man on the Train? is a well shot and well acted film but it only feels like the first half of a movie. I?m sure plenty of people out there will appreciate the character nuances and small moments, but this is a film completely driven by small moments that never add up to anything larger. Maybe ?The Man on the Train? just isn?t for me. Or maybe I need to just wait for the second half, if it ever gets made.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C+[/color][/font]
February 25, 2006
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Nice very nice. A very interesting switcheroo with some genuinely good comedic elements.
January 13, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

    1. Milan: We get more precious as the years pass, you see.
    – Submitted by Frances H (19 months ago)
    1. Manesquier: Many people talk a lot of rubbish. I think we agree on that. As soon as they write it down, it becomes gospel truth.
    – Submitted by Frances H (19 months ago)
    1. Manesquier: I have always wanted to be a silent onlooker.
    – Submitted by Frances H (19 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • The Man on the Train (L'homme du train) (DE)
  • The Man on the Train (L'homme du train) (UK)
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